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Charlotte Cressey

Charlotte Lorraine Lioness Cressey is an animal liberation activist and educator, Chopra-Center certified meditation instructor, originator of Earth Energy Yoga®, graduate student in Women’s Spirituality, lover of life, and enthusiast for the many benefits of a vegan lifestyle.  She graduated Summa Cum Laude in University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth’s Women’s Studies undergraduate program.

Her concern for animals began at three years old, when she refused to eat meat after learning that it had once a been a living being. Cressey believes in the revolutionary power of love and challenges the tendency to believe that cruelty is natural in the world. Through her presentations, Empowerment Sessions, meditation, and Earth Energy Yoga classes, she assists people in unearthing the infinite wellspring of joy, love, compassion, and wisdom within. She views veganism, meditation, and yoga as part of a larger goal to create a peaceful, harmonious existence for humans, animals, and the Earth.

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Charlotte’s Philosophy on Animals

Charlotte developed a desire to help those most at our mercy- animals – as a young child.  At the time, her dog, Whimsey, was her best friend.  Charlotte shared a deep bond with Whimsey and felt that they knew each other on an intuitive level.  Through her relationship with Whimsey, she realized that each animal is an individual with unique preferences, a personality, and a desire to connect with others on a social and emotional level.  One night during a family dinner, 3-year-old-Charlotte asked her parents “did a cow have to die for me to eat this?”  Baffled, they looked at each other, unsure how to respond.  Her mom replied, “yes, honey”.

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Charlotte was shocked and upset that her parents wanted her to eat her friends – animals.  So, she refused to eat the cow’s flesh (meat) that night.  She became a vegetarian at age 7, vegan at 12, and began educating her peers about how we can make kinder choices toward animals.It is this shift in perspective, the way we relate to others, that Charlotte focuses on.  Her parents saw what they served her as food, Charlotte saw the story behind the food – that was the body of someone who would have preferred not to die.  Charlotte is dedicated to shifting the way we relate to ourselves, the way we relate to animals, and the way we relate to other people.Charlotte views veganism and treating all animals with respect as part of a larger goal to create a peaceful world for humans, animals, and the Earth.The world is a web of relationships and everything starts with our inner life – our relationship with ourselves.  How we treat ourselves affects the way we treat others.  If we cultivate compassion within, this will help us make more compassionate choices toward others.  And, since the world we live in is the result of choices made within relationship, compassionate actions are the only way we’re going to create a kinder world.

Charlotte’s presentations, yoga, and meditation sessions help one heal inner turmoil, empower oneself with beneficial thoughts and actions, and learn to act from a place of love and compassion. The goal is to help people see past the illusion of difference and celebrate our shared commonality with all beings.  We are all animals. Whether we are human or not , female or male, young or old, etc. – we as animal beings with bodies all want the same things.  We want to experience meaningful relationships; to feel joy; to be free; to have food, water, and shelter; and to feel good.  And, as human animals it is our privilege and challenge to learn to live in harmony with other beings.

 

Charlotte’s Thoughts on Love as the Antidote to “Might Makes Right” Mentality

“I believe in the revolutionary power of love!  When we are fueled by compassion and love, complacence and apathy naturally dissolve, and solutions to the challenges of modern society naturally emerge.”

The challenges we are experiencing as a human community, including hunger, poverty, environmental degradation, war, killing billions of animals, etc. are opportunity points to create positive change.  Now is the time to take the calls of the Earth and the billions suffering seriously and co-create a kind, harmonious world.

Charlotte’s approach to social justice is grounded in uprooting the source cause of cruelty perpetrated against animals, women, and other oppressed groups – the dominator paradigm.  Charlotte helps expose the insidious and pervasive manifestations of this ‘might makes right mentality’ so we can free ourselves of it and heal our relation to other beings.   It is from a place of deep reverence and love that we can respect all beings and honor their autonomy.  Her presentations, yoga, and meditation empowerment sessions assist people in unearthing the infinite wellspring of love, compassion, and wisdom that is within.

 

 Charlotte’s Experience with Yoga, Meditation, Spirituality

“Like most people, I’ve been challenged with racing thoughts, stress, anxiety, self-destructive behaviors, unproductive belief systems, etc.  I had the joy of being exposed to yoga at age 14 and I was delighted to discover a physical practice that challenged me to become comfortable with my own mind.  Yoga has helped me find the calm amidst the chaos.  Yoga, meditation, and other spiritual practices have strengthened me mentally, physically, and spiritually, and enhanced my energy to face the challenges of life.  I have personal experience of the radically positive transformation brought about by introspection, self-inquiry, and mindfulness techniques.  I believe each person must find their own path, but that these techniques can help one find happiness, peace, and a sense of ease.”

Recommended Reading

picks

My #1 book recommendation is Lee Hall’s fabulous book, On Their Own Terms.  Currently available in two slightly different formats.

On Their Own Terms: Bringing Animal Rights Philosophy Down to Earth, by Lee Hall.  

On Their Own Terms: Animal Liberation for the 21st Century, by Lee Hall. (This one is only available digitally.)

 

Veganism

  • Food Revolution by John Robbins
  • “The History of Vegetarianism” by Marti Kheel,   http://martikheel.com/pdf/History_of_Vegetarianism.pdf
  • Introduction to Animal Rights: Your Child or the Dog? by Gary Francione
  • Prisoned Chickens, Poisoned Eggs, by Karen Davis
  • Eternal Treblinka: Our Treatment of Animals and the Holocaust by Charles Patterson
  • The Dreaded Comparison: Human and Animal Slavery, by Marjorie Spiegel

 

Health

  • Food Revolution by John Robbins
  • Food for Life: How The New Four Food Groups Can Save Your Life by Dr. Neal Barnard, Founder of Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine, PCRM

 

Feminism/Animal Liberation

  • Nature Ethics, by Marti Kheel
  • “Toppling Patriarchy with a Fork.” by Marti Kheel,   http://martikheel.com/pdf/vegetarianism-ecofeminism-kheel.pdf
  • The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist Vegetarian Critical Theory, by Carol J. Adams
  • Animals and Women, Feminist Theoretical Explorations, Carol J. Adams and Josephine Donovan
  • Neither Man Nor Beast by Carol J. Adams
  • Pornland: How Pornography Has Hijacked Our Sexuality, by Gail Dines

 

Understanding Patriarchal Culture/Relationships

  • The Chalice and the Blade, by Riane Eisler
  • The Power of Partnership, by Riane Eisler
  • All About Love: New Visions, by bell hooks
  • The World Peace Diet, by Will Tuttle

 

Spirituality

  • When God Was a Woman, by Merlin Stone
  • The Myth of the Goddess: Evolution of an Image, by Anne Baring and Jules Cashford
  • Yoga And Vegetarianism, by Sharon Gannon
  • The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, by Deepak Chopra
  • Animal Speak, by Ted Andrews
  • The Hope: A Guide to Sacred Activism, by Andrew Harvey
  • Many Lives, Many Masters, by Brian Weiss